(FILES) JK Shin, head of Samsung Mobile Communications, poses with Samsung Electronics smartphone Galaxy Note II in Seoul in this September 26, 2012 photo. Global smartphone sales soared in 2012, taking a huge slice of a mobile market that was otherwise flat, survey data showed on January 25, 2013. Research firm Strategy Analytics said global smartphone shipments grew 43 percent to 700 million units in 2012, with South Korea’s Samsung capturing more than 30 percent of the market and extending its lead over Apple and others. The report showed smartphones accounted for close to half of the 1.6 billion mobiles sold in 2012. With all phones combined, the market grew just two percent, according to the report highlighting a shift to smartphones. The report showed Apple holding 19.4 percent of the global smartphone market, trailing Samsung at 30.4 percent. AFP PHOTO / KIM JAE-HWAN

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